Transit Pass Controls This Home Security System

[Folkert van Heusden] installed a bunch of cameras in and around his home. Ostensibly this is for watching the kitties from work, but we’re sure the more accepted purpose is for security. He and his wife don’t really want the cameras rolling when they’re at home. So he added a system by the front door with uses a transit pass to turn on and off the security cameras.

The pass is an RFID tag which gets them on the subways, trains, and buses around the Netherlands. To use it with this system he needed an RFID reader. The one he chose is a USB device which enumerates as an HID keyboard. When it detects a valid card it outputs the tag id as a string of characters. [Folkert’s] setup uses an eeePC with a broken keyboard to connect to the reader. A perl script monitors the feed from the reader, and verifies each code as it is received. After authentication the script will enable or disable the networked cameras and update the LED readout accordingly. To keep everything hidden he put it in the closet, using a hole (from a doorknob?) as a wire pass-through.

10 thoughts on “Transit Pass Controls This Home Security System

  1. Doesnt want the cameras rolling when at home… What a bunch of wierdos. I leave mine recording 24/7 because I am in control of it. If you are paranoid about your own cameras, you really need to get therapy.

  2. Sounds like a waste of power to have the PC running all the time. I leave my cameras up 24/7. They are not directly exposed to the Internet. I must VPN into home network thru my router to view cameras.

  3. This is a pretty interest security system but I still think it relies too much on human interaction, which is well known to be as flaky as how feel on a particularly day.

    I think a better way to restrict the cameras while people are inside might be to install IR sensors with a cooldown timer… so it waits 20 minutes after detecting the last movement in the house before initialising the cameras – perhaps you could join this with a reed sensor on the door to have the cameras automatically start for a short period whenever the front door is opened too, that way you can catch peoples’ faces as they enter the property.

    Ultimately, I’d love a JARVIS type system like in Iron Man :) But I don’t think I can tease that kind of performance out of Arduino or Raspberry Pi! I have found a number of decent bits of security kit at Yale Digital, especially with the advanced zone management… there’s no reason why you shouldn’t have the hallway camera running 24/7 and just restrict the cameras in the other areas of the house… afterall, you still want to capture footage if someone forces their way in the door during the night while you’re asleep!

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